First of all, I want to tell Gary how much I enjoy his reporting & writing – nice job! Glad he joined the ISP!
I am a Midwestern seasonal resident & have been visiting FMB for about 10 yrs. Despite the traffic, my wife & I purchased a house on the island. I often exclaim that traffic is part of the “price of living in paradise!”
I too noticed the decrease in island commute times this season & have a theory that might explain it. I think there were a lot less ‘visitors’ to the island! After last season’s bad weather, brown water & bum roads, I surmise people did not come back to FMB & went elsewhere. Other casual observations were the ‘vacancy’ signs at the condo/resorts and availability of short lead-time accommodation & last-minute flight reservations.
However, this is just conjecture on my part & I have little empirical data to backup my assertion – unlike Gary’s scientific method! (“The Wait,” Island Sand Paper, April 7, 2017) I hope I’m wrong, but actual visitor statistics will be telling. If overnight occupancy & daily visitor numbers are off, hopefully they will just be temporary?!
Our downtown redevelopment, island infrastructure modernization & water quality restoration initiatives will all help to improve the quality of business, environmental, recreation and residential life on our island community & beyond.
Keep up the good work, Gary!
Fort Myers Beach